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"Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Stranger Things and the thirty-second episode overall. It premiered on May 27, 2022, being the final episode of the first volume, and was directed by the Duffer Brothers.


As Hopper braces to battle a monster, Dustin dissects Vecna's motives — and decodes a message from beyond. El finds strength in a distant memory.


Steve, Eddie, Nancy, and Robin in the Upside Down

Trapped in the Upside Down, Steve Harrington is saved from being eaten by bat creatures by Nancy Wheeler, Robin Buckley and Eddie Munson. As they fight the bats off with oars, Steve brutally and fatally bashes the one that was choking him. More bats start to converge on the group, blocking off the "watergate" (as dubbed by Dustin Henderson) and the group flees into the nearby woods.

Jack Sullivan releases Wallace from his heat torture, and this time Wallace agrees to give up Eleven's location, but begs Sullivan not to kill her. Eleven tries to crumple a can of Coke, but is again haunted by memories of the massacre and cannot do it. Watching her, Sam Owens berates Martin Brenner for pushing her too hard, believing their efforts to be in vain. Brenner privately talks to Eleven, encouraging her to keep pushing through her memories despite her believing she killed the other psychic children. As Eleven prepares to go back inside NINA, Brenner pulls the security tape from 1979, the day of the massacre, and allows it to play on NINA's screens as Eleven slips back into her memories.

Max Mayfield, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson awkwardly try to lie to Chief Calvin Powell about why they were at Lover's Lake. They claim not to know where Eddie is, which Erica Sinclair points out is a lie. As the parents start to argue, Powell gets them all in line and decides to interview the kids individually, starting with Max. Nancy dresses Steve's wounds and Robin suggests finding weapons. Nancy reveals that she keeps two guns in her bedroom and the Upside Down hopefully has versions of them there, and so they make their way to her house. The Upside Down is briefly rocked by a tremor. As Jim Hopper and Dmitri Antonov mentally prep themselves to fight the Demogorgon, they reminisce about the legacies they will leave behind for their children. Hopper expresses hope that Eleven is growing up alright without him. He muses that he believed he was sent to Kamchatka to pay for his supposed crimes, but realizes that he may have instead put there to destroy the monster and help Eleven. Murray Bauman, disguised as Yuri Ismaylov, infiltrates the base with Joyce Byers and Yuri (disguised as Bauman and gagged) as his captives.

S4E7-Lucas, Dustin and Max being interrogated

In Eleven's memories, Brenner does a medical examination after her attack by Two. Remembering his threat of death, she pretends she does not remember what happened. Knowing she must have been attacked by one of the children, Brenner lines them all up and deduces that Two is responsible and tortures him with an electric collar until he confesses while Eleven watches, horrified. As the group walks through the Upside Down, Steve is quietly delighted when Eddie tells him that Dustin thinks highly of him. He admits he is jealous of Steve's bravery and impressed by his character, tired of always being the one who runs away or stays behind, and that he only went in after Steve because Nancy and Robin went too. He points out that Nancy went after him without a moment of hesitation and suggests he try to get her back. Before Steve can think on this, another tremor occurs.

Reach for particles

Dustin frantically radioes the older teens for help while pretending to use the bathroom, to no success. Erica blackmails Lucas into explaining the situation to her. Dustin realizes that Vecna is creating gates wherever he kills and hypothesizes that he is an underling of the Mind Flayer trying to weaken the barrier between dimensions. At the Wheelers' window, lights flash outside, revealed to be the older teens in the Upside Down, having made it to the house. Nancy leads them to her bedroom, but finds that her bedroom is mysteriously stuck in 1983, the day the Hawkins National Laboratory gate opened, and her guns are not there. The group realizes that they can hear Dustin faintly across dimensions and realize they can see electrical energy while in the Upside Down, which illuminates in the real world when touched, using them to attract the attention of the kids.

S4E7-Eleven & the orderly play chess

Eleven notices Two's friends watching her. The orderly pulls her aside and warns her that Two is planning to kill her, and that Brenner will let it happen because Eleven's power scares him, having been the one responsible for her attack. He claims that he tried to interfere, leading to Brenner having him tortured. Eleven asks why he continues to help her, and he insists that "I believe in you." He slips her a keycard under the table.

Upside Down Trailer Park

The kids swipe Holly Wheeler's Lite-Brite toy and plug it in, allowing the teens to give them more detailed answers to their questions. They explain that they are stuck in the Upside Down. Dustin explains his theory that a gate has been created at every murder site, and the teens decide to go to Eddie's trailer where Chrissy Cunningham was killed, taking bikes out of Nancy's garage. At the same time, Max is released from her interview, and she escapes with her friends on their bikes, Erica cutting the police cars' tires. A bat spots the teens biking through the Upside Down, alerting Vecna.

On the day of the massacre, Eleven waits for Brenner and Ten to leave the room before faking sick to another orderly and slipping away from him. She uses the keycard to get into the basement and meets the orderly, who shows her to a pipe to escape the lab in. She notices that he will not be able to fit, and he explains that he cannot escape, as Brenner has implanted a chip in his neck that tracks and weakens him. Feeling guilty after all the help he has given her, Eleven offers to remove it with her powers, and he allows her to. The guards find them before they can leave and trap them in a hallway, only for the orderly to kill them, revealing he has psychic abilities. He reveals to a stunned Eleven that he is actually One, and tells her to wait in a closet until he can find the way out.

Bauman's ruse works, and the warden takes him and his captives to the balcony of the arena so they can watch the prisoners fight the demogorgon. Joyce sees Hopper, relieved at the confirmation that he is alive. The prisoners arm themselves with the weapons provided by the guard, and Hopper attempts to create a flaming spear by wrapping a torn piece of his shirt around a normal one and lighting it, only to find that the lighter is low on fluid. The warden moves to stop him, forcing Bauman to secretly take out a gun and put it to his back, blowing his cover. The gate opens, and the Demogorgon attacks the prisoners, killing most of them and disrupting their strategy. Hopper manages to light the spear, using it to keep the Demogorgon away from him and Antonov, forcing it to start picking off the rest who try to run. As the flame starts to die, Joyce and Bauman force their way into the control room, opening the arena door and allowing Hopper and Antonov to slip through. The Demogorgon almost gets through, but Hopper stabs it in the face, allowing the doors to shut. Joyce and Hopper reunite, and he smiles genuinely as he holds her.

Hopper Joyce reunion

The teens arrive at Eddie's trailer just as the kids break open the gate with a broom handle from the other side. They tie bedsheets together to make a rope for the teens to climb. Robin and Eddie make it through, but when Nancy attempts to climb through, she ends up getting put into a trance by Vecna and confronts her with Barb Holland's rotting corpse. He accuses her of allowing Barb to die and forgetting about her, and blood starts spilling into the pool while Steve desperately tries to rouse her in the real world.

Creel tragedy

Eleven emerges from the closet when alarms start to blare to find much of the facility slaughtered and Brenner unconscious. She makes her way to the Rainbow Room and finds One killing Two in a manner identical to Vecna. He asks her why she is upset when she had been mistreated constantly by the staff and children, but promises that he understands her. Nancy finds herself in Vecna's lair, who reveals that he knows she talked to Victor Creel. He shows Nancy what One is explaining to Eleven: One is actually Henry Creel, Victor's son. His parents moved to Hawkins in hopes of a new environment curing his odd behavior, but after developing a fascination with a family of black widows he found in the house, he began to see himself as the human equivalent of one—someone who exists to purge the weakness from humanity. After discovering his abilities, he first experimented by killing animals, then by tormenting his family with psychic visions for their perceived weaknesses.

S04E07-The Massacre at Hawkins Lab-pic
PIX-10-407 Henry-Dissolves A
Upside Down 1979

After his mother suspected him and tried to have him institutionalized, he killed her and his sister, but his attempt to kill his father overexerted him, putting him in a coma and leaving his father to be blamed for the murders. He awoke under the care of Brenner, who, when his attempts to control One failed, began to create other psychic children and numbered them. As he tells her that he holds on to his victim's souls, Eleven realizes he has been manipulating her. He invites her to join forces with him, but she rejects him and the two duel. She tries to overpower him using his own advice about traumatic memories but he gains the upper hand, so she instead uses her happiest: her mother telling her at birth that she loves her. Eleven throws One through the mirror and pins him to the wall, and in the real world, the lights in the facility go haywire and blood streams out of both her nostrils. In her memory, she tears One apart, creating the first gate with her power, and throws him through it; One is sent careening through an inter-dimensional hellscape, where lightning strips the flesh from his body. In the present day, Vecna stands still in the Upside Down Creel attic, and a close-up of his left forearm reveals his "001" tattoo.



The official teleplay for "The Massacre at Hawkins Lab"[3]



Also Starring[]




  • "Quantum Deviations" by Gothic Storm - The Demobats prepare to attack Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie.
  • "The Wanderer" by Makeup And Vanity Set - Dustin, Lucas, and Erica communicate with Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie through Holly's Lite-Brite.
  • "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)" by Kate Bush - Heard through Max's headphones.
  • "Prophecies"/"Akhnaten Act 1, Scene 3: The Window of Appearances"/"Akhnaten, Act II, Scene 2, Akhnaten and Nefertiti" by Philip Glass, "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" by Ella Fitzgerald - Henry Creel's monologue to Eleven following his massacre of the test subjects; intercut with Nancy's Vecna-induced visions.

Original score[]

  • "You're Regressing Eleven" - Brenner and Eleven discuss what it'll take to restore her powers.
  • "Musso" - Scene transition to the Kamchatka prison.
  • "Religious American" - Hopper contemplates his purpose, and realizes he can still help Eleven by fighting the Demogorgon.
  • "Gates of Kamchatka" - Joyce and Murray begin their infiltration of the prison camp.
  • "She Wants Me to Find Her" - Eddie encourages Steve to pursue Nancy.
  • "Soldiers" - Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie find the Upside Down version of the Wheeler House.
  • "Powerful Psychic Connection" - Dustin speculates about Vecna's motives.
  • "Stuck in 1983" - Nancy opens up her diary and discovers the Upside Down is 'frozen' on November 6, 1983.
  • "One Blink for Yes" - Eddie uses morse code through the lights in the Upside Down; Erica notices and alerts Dustin and Lucas.
  • "Welcome to Kamchatka" - Joyce, Murray, and Yuri are brought to the terrace of the pit, where Joyce sees Hopper.
  • "Stay Calm, Focus on the Game" - Eleven and the friendly orderly play chess; the orderly discreetly hands her an ID card that'll allow her to escape.
  • "Rolling Out the Pool" - Dustin, Lucas, and Erica take Holly's Lite-Brite.
  • "Hiiiiiiiii" - Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie make contact with Dustin, Lucas, and Erica through the Lite-Brite.
  • "Slashing The Tires" - Erica slashes the police tires as the police and the parents fail to chase after her, Dustin, Lucas, and Max. The quartet cycle through the streets as it transitions to Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie biking their way through the Upside Down.
  • "Chicago" - Eleven sneaks away.
  • "Unambiguous True Love" - Hopper and Joyce reunite.
  • "Stained Glass Roses" - Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie arrive at the Upside Down's Munson trailer.
  • "Incision" - Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie are relieved and amused to see Dustin, Lucas, Max, and Erica through the gate at the Munson trailer.
  • "Fancy Bomb" - Robin and Eddie climb through the gate.
  • "Unfortunate Development" - Eleven rejects One's offer.
  • "She'll Kill You" - Eleven overpowers One and pins him against the wall.
  • "Portal Drill" - Henry is sent spiralling through an inter-dimensional hellscape, and is electrocuted; the camera pans to reveal the '001' tattoo on Vecna's wrist.

Influences and references[]

See also: Influences & references



  • Walter Mondale/Gerald Ferraro
    • Nancy has a Mondale/Ferraro presidential campaign sticker from the 1984 presidential election in her bedroom.
  • Ozzie Osbourne
    • Eddie compares Steve biting the head of the Demobat to when Ozzie Osbourne accidentally bit the head of a bat during a January 1982 performance.


  • Care Bears (1985)
    • Holly has a Funshine Bear plushie in the living room.
  • Gunsmoke (1955-1975)
    • Erica teases Dustin's referring of the cops as "the law" and calls them "Gunsmoke: The Stupid and the Ugly".


  • Garfield
    • A Garfield-shaped mug is seen on the shelves of the Munson trailer.
  • Pluto
    • Nancy picks up a Pluto plushie on her bed in the Upside Down and said that it shouldn't be there since she gave it away to her cousin in 1984.


  • Lite-Brite
    • Holly plays with the toy before Dustin, Lucas, and Erica take it to communicate with Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie in the Upside Down.
  • Teddy Ruxpin/Grubby
    • Holly has two of the toys in the living room.


View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see The Massacre at Hawkins Lab/Gallery.


  • The title of the episode was revealed on November 6, 2021, on the occasion of Stranger Things Day.
  • A part of this episode is included in the cold open for "The Hellfire Club", edited slightly differently to give us Brenner's point of view.
  • This episode was nominated for "Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series" at the Emmy Awards, alongside "Dear Billy".[4]
    • This episode was nominated for "Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series" at the Emmy Awards.[4]
    • This episode was nominated for "Outstanding Cinematography For a Single-Camera Series (ONE HOUR)" at the Emmy Awards, alongside "Dear Billy."[4]
  • Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, and Jonathan Byers are all absent in this episode. This is the first episode in the series that Mike has not appeared in.
  • This is the only episode in Season 4 in which Argyle and Jason Carver do not appear.
  • When Nancy discovers the Upside Down is frozen in time by analyzing her bedroom, she picks up an old Pluto plushie on her bed and says she gave it to her cousin Joanna two years ago. In "Dear Billy", however, when Nancy rummages through her closet while talking to Steve and Robin, the Pluto plushie is seen by her feet.
  • There is another continuity error 15 minutes 18 seconds in. Right after Eddie tosses his jean vest to Steve, the earthquake happens in the upside down. At that time, when they show Eddie on the ground with Robin on top of him, he is still wearing the jean vest over his leather coat.